A preliminary hearing does not determine whether an accused person is found
‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty,’ but it determines if
there is enough evidence to proceed before a grand jury. Though it is
often called “the trial before the trial” no convictions or
acquittals are made in this type of hearing. Instead, during a preliminary
hearing in Texas, it is decided if there is enough evidence for prosecutors
to proceed. Occurring for serious felony charges, preliminary hearings
are an important step of the criminal trial process.
What if there is not enough evidence?
If it is decided during the preliminary hearing that there is not enough
evidence to proceed with a trial, the case could ultimately be dismissed.
Likewise, this is exactly what criminal defense
attorneys are hoping for. In order for a preliminary hearing to occur, the defendant
must request it.
What happens during a preliminary hearing?
Usually the prosecutor will present as much incriminating evidence needed
to prove a sufficient amount of evidence. Physical evidence as well as
witness testimony will be presented. For less serious felony charges,
indictment evidence is presented through a written document.
What if there is a plea bargain?
If a plea bargain is offered before a preliminary hearing occurs, there
will be no need to follow through with this initial step. Instead, a guilty
plea has already been made, and there is no need to proceed with a preliminary hearing.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love has been charged of a criminal felony, it is
of utmost importance to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you have any questions about preliminary hearings and the criminal
trial process, do not hesitate to contact
Carroll Troberman, PLLC. Our lawyers are skilled and professional–they will fight to protect